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A photojournalist with a touch of music

Joy with his drum Kit

Every frame with a touch of music. That is what acclaimed photojournalist Joy Thomas, hailing from South Indian state of Kerala, wanted to achieve. Nowadays he is rediscovering his passion for music through his drum kit. Rajitha Saleem meets one of the most popular drummers from the London musical circuit   

Joy with his drum Kit
Joy with his drum Kit

Joy Thomas, a photojournalist by profession is rediscovering his musical passion through the rhythms of his drum kit.  As the son of C T Thomas, a renowned musician of yesteryears from Kerala, Joy grew up with music and musicians who frequented his home in Thrissur in the southern state of Kerala, India. He is balancing his journalistic assignments along with his passion for music.

First Christian live programme in the UK with 10 piece orchestra
First Christian live programme in the UK with 10 piece orchestra

“My father was among the first few musicians chosen by the government of Kerala to perform the music for the second feature film in Malayalam,” said a visibly proud Joy, one of the popular drummers from the British Asian community.  In his childhood, Joy had the good fortune of being in the company of many good music directors who became famous later, such as Ousepachan and Johnson who were the disciples of his father. The musical environment prevailed at home naturally encouraged the inclination of Joy who took up drums as his forte, in the place of violin and flute for this father.

With Afsal, Vivekanandan, Akhila and Manoj
With Afsal, Vivekanandan, Akhila and Manoj

Even when fate took him to Bahrain in the role of a photojournalist, Joy took his passion for music alongside him. In Bahrain, he was instrumental in bringing many famous musicians such as S.Janaki, Markos and Uma Maheswari to the Kerala community there. Joy used to fuel his passion by playing drums in a club after his regular job in the newspaper. Even when his photos were gathering accolades, Joy’s primary interest remained music and he returned to Kerala to teach music, especially drums for a few years.

In Kerala, Joy was involved in orchestration and arrangement of music, which came in handy when he moved to UK. “I detest it when people do karaoke to sing. It is not music. It is just acting. Music has to be played live. Even if things go wrong, its ok and good musicians can always recover if they play a note wrong,” added Joy.  It is this feeling to encourage live rendering of music that prompts Joy to go ahead with arranging music for the various orchestra and musical programmes for the Malayalee community.

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  1. Hi Joy
    I am very proud of your achievements in the place where you are now. Very glad to see your pictures and article in the newspaper like we had in Bahrain. Please keep in touch with me dear friend. I tried to call you few times when Roy gave me your number and no one picked up the call.
    I am still in Dubai working with the same boss Mr. Geof Malone now in UK his house and I am alone here in the office. My contact No. +971 56 1859254. Be in touch. My love and regards to your family.
    with many thanks
    James Kurian


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